Building permits for the cities of Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren were a combined $14.614 million for the month of October, a massive drop from the month of September but still an increase over October 2012.
From September to October, the values of building permits across the cities dropped 71.62% from $51.494 million last month. Permits last month included a $26.2 million permit tied to Mercy Orthopedic Hospital at 79th Street and Phoenix Avenue and a $6.35 million permit for the relocation of Smith Chevrolet from Zero and Towson to 6500 Autopark Drive, adjacent to Interstate 540. The new location will be next to Smith's Nissan dealership.
Comparing October 2013 to the same month last year, values were up 14.27% from $12.789 million during October 2012.
Even with the decrease from September to October, the three cities' collective permits for the year ring in at a staggering $189.282 million, a 54.6% increase over the same 10-month period last year of $122.43 million. The figures have also continued to beat 2011's cumulative total for the period, though it was only by a 4.365% increase from $181.365 million.
Fort Smith had the largest portion of the 10 month total, with $161.435 million, a 61.6% increase from $99.899 million during the same period last year. Van Buren came in second with $15.043 million this year, an increase of 4.97% from $14.331 million. Greenwood totals only $7.398 million so far this year, which is a decline of 9.75% from last year when the city saw permits through the month of October at $8.197 million.
The city of Fort Smith issued 161 permits last month worth $12.779 million. As described above, the figure is down sharply from last month's total of $49.976 million, a 74.43% decrease from the previous month.
Commercial construction totaled $7.534 million and 41 building permits for the month, while 95 permits were issued for residential construction totaling $4.333 million.
Permits in Greenwood were down 81.9% from the same period last year. This month only saw $322,860 worth of permits issued, while October 2012 saw 12 permits totaling $1.784 million.
The city saw a mix of commercial and residential construction last month. In all, five permits were issued with two totaling $159,500 going to commercial projects in the city and two permits worth $133,360 going toward residential projects. A fifth permit for $30,000 was issued for a swimming pool.
Van Buren showed strong numbers in new home construction, with 22 permits issued worth $1.478 million. In all, 37 permits were issued worth $1.512 million. That figure is up 58.35% from October 2012's values of $955,000.
Combined values in the three cities during 2012 were $157.32 million, compared to $201.079 million during 2011. The 2012 value is above the $149 million in 2010, but below the $164 million during 2009.
Fort Smith closed 2012 with the largest share of valuations, logging $136.428 million (a one-year decline from $179.288 million of about 23.9%), while Van Buren was the next largest with $12.282 million (a one-year decrease from $12.39 million of approximately 0.87%). Greenwood posted an additional $8.609 million, which was down slightly from last year’s $9.461 million (down about 9%).
The 2012 figures were compared against a $28.5 million permit in 2011 for the construction of a Mitsubishi wind-turbine assembly plant at Chaffee Crossing. The plant has been mothballed by the company. Even without that permit, the Fort Smith metro area lagged when compared to 2011 showing a decrease of around 8.8%.